Attention all drivers — a pilot program could soon allow cameras to catch speeding drivers on Oakland, San Francisco and San Jose roads.
The San Jose mayor, police chief, and council members voiced their support for Assembly Bill 645 on Wednesday.
“Just last year we had one of the deadliest years on our roads we’ve ever seen — 65 fatalities. Sadly, even one is too many but that significantly outpaces even our homicide rate,” said San Jose Mayor Matt Mahan.
San Jose could place up to 33 cameras near schools and roads with the most traffic injuries and crashes – including along King and McKee.
For the first six months, drivers would be sent a warning in the mail when they’re caught speeding 11 miles an hour or over. After that, it would be fines starting around $50.
They point to cities like New York that have used them and seen significant reductions in speeding.
Maria Hernandez lost her mother Maria Marcelo, who was a well-known community activist in San Jose, after she was hit and killed by a car while walking in December, and she’s been advocating for people to slow down behind the wheel ever since.
“It turns out my mom wasn’t the first one to die on that street, when it’s not just one fatality but multiple on that street, if that’s not screaming for change then I don’t know what is,” said Hernandez.
“The loss of life that we are experiencing from traffic collisions in San Jose is unacceptable,” said San Jose Police Chief Anthony Mata.
The mayor says for the opponents who argue it invades privacy, the cameras would only take pictures, not video. And it would just capture the car and license plate, and be in a police database for up to 5 days.
“They’re able to use the camera to determine how quickly the vehicle is moving relative to the posted speed limit. They are not taking images of individual drivers,” said Mahan.
Hernandez hopes it’ll change driving behavior and prevent another family from experiencing the same loss she has.
“Just knowing you are being watched creates more control for people who are thinking it’s just a faster way home,” she said.
If passed, it would have to go through a community outreach process about where they would be placed and to address privacy concerns.
Source: NBC Bay Area
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